Santanina Tillah Rasul
Source of Influence: Social Issues
Status: Featured in current year
The first and only Muslim woman elected to the Philippine Senate, former Senator Santanina Tillah Rasul is also the last Muslim Senator of the Philippines. She is Chair and founder of the Magbassa Kita (Let us Read) Foundation Inc, which focuses on literacy and education. She is noted for her work towards women’s empowerment, effective civil service, improved literacy for the Muslims of Mindanao and equitable treatment of Muslims of the Philippines. She authored much landmark legislation including: the Women in Development and Nation-Building Act that empowered women; allocated development funds for women’s initiatives; and opened the Philippine Military Academy to women. A peace champion, she was a member of the government panel during the peace talks with the Moro National Liberation Front that lead to a peace agreement that was signed in 1996.